We can only imagine Jakobsen pulling up to the SGA meeting in this fancy ride

We can only imagine Jakobsen pulling up to the SGA meeting in this fancy ride

While most of Columbia and Barnard’s students slugged back into the academic grind after indulging over the Thanksgiving holiday, the members of SGA got back to their hard-working ways without a hitch. Last night, they brought in yet another administrative guest and resident SGA expert Joe Milholland got the beat. 

The admin guest at the Monday night SGA council meeting was Janet Jakobsen, Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) since 2000. Jakobsen came to talk about the history and the work of the BCRW. In a Prezi, she explained that the BCRW practices “social justice feminism” with the aims of “challenging injustice by putting gender at the intersections” and “envisioning alternatives.” Issues related to these goals include women’s labor, climate change, imprisonment, and state violence.

Founded in 1971 as the feminist movement was reaching a height in the public eye, BCRW has had five directors in 40 years. Jakobsen is going to step down as Director, and the academic Tina Campt will replace her next year. The center has held many conferences and lectures, such as one with poet June Jordan and novelist Alice Walker and a discussion on whether there was sexism at Columbia University. The center also has a podcast and blog and helps students on their writing and publication skills. Every year, BCRW hosts a salon on a single book—this year’s selection was Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness. 

Responding to a question from the council on summer fellowships, Jakobsen said that while she hopes to have a summer fellowship, money is an issue, and she does not support unpaid internships. She also wants to get more involvement from Barnard students and work with other groups on campus. She noted that fewer groups have been using the BCRW space since she began, and she said that the Center is “more than happy to help” students in addressing on-campus issues.

On questions about BCRW’s work beyond itself, she stated that the BCRW often partners with academics who study topics not typically seen as feminist issues. The Center is also part of Re:Gender—a nationwide organization that focuses on both researching and redefining issues.

She also told the council that she hopes to make BCRW’s podcast student-run next semester, although the formal plans have not yet been completed.


  • According to USenator Erin Bryk, the Rules of Conduct Committee met and discussed whether or not to open up review the rules for review. During their meeting, they received Abby Porter’s petition. The chair will make a statement on whether or not the committee will review the rules very soon.
  • There will be an SGA town hall on Wednesday, December 3 at 5:30pm in the James Room
  • A sexual assault and gender-based misconduct survey is out to evaluate student responses on a support group for survivors.

The honored administrative guest deserves nothing less via Shutterstock